Almost a beehive

I’ve been working on the beehive for the last week and a half. It takes an incredible quantity of nails – and of course I’m overengineering it by carefully assembling and glueing all the parts first. It’s a little added strength and longevity, and it does keep the parts straight and square while I nail them.

The big box underneath is the box where all the bees will live and breed (the brood box), and the little one is called a “super”. It goes on top to give the bees a little added space. Mine is short because boxes full of honey can weigh more than 50lb and, well, I don’t feel like lifting that every time I want to check the health of my hive.

I’m going to be using the super as my honey collector – my plan is to let the bees do their own thing in the brood box and only harvest from the super, so as not to cause them too much trauma. And if I can find a queen excluder, there won’t be any baby bees in it when I harvest it because she won’t be able to get in there to lay eggs (yay for not depleting my own bee population!) I’m hoping it will be relatively easy to harvest this way if I get a bee escape, which will let bees exit the super but not return. The theory is that you put this bee escape in place, wait overnight, and then go pick up your bee-free super and take the whole thing to your honey-harvesting place.

Last night I put in the starter strips and waxed them – I plan on doing natural top-bar beekeeping instead of using a commercial wax foundation. An excellent tutorial on starter strips (and many other beekeeping issues too) can be found on the Backwards Beekeepers site.

The box has been primed and triple-painted, the last nail has been sunk, and all the parts are separate but ready to go – good thing too, since the bees may come as early as April 10. Let’s see if I can get it out to the farm and install it this week!

4 Responses to “Almost a beehive”

  1. David in Kansas Says:

    I get tired just reading about all the stuff you’re working on!:grin:

  2. Rose Says:

    Did I ever tell you my dad keeps bees?

  3. diana Says:

    No that is awesome! Too bad he’s so far away – it’d be nice to have several resources handy. :)

  4. Nate Murray Says:

    Hey Diana, love the blog. Its always fun to see the projects from another maker.

    I found your blog b/c you left a comment on Backwards Beekeepers asking if anyone knew of a service similar to the Bee Rescue Hotline in Maryland. I was wondering, did you ever find one?

    If not, I’d like to chat with you about maybe starting one. Send me an email, I think my email is in the comments, otherwise it is: nate +AT+

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